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The Financial Times Ranks Fast Growing Companies in Africa for the First Time

The inaugural FT annual ranking of Africa’s Fastest-Growing Companies provides a snapshot of the corporate landscape on a continent where technology, fintech, and support-service businesses have had to adapt to a radically altered environment. Chief among the recent challenges has been operating within the lockdowns introduced by many African governments to combat COVID. The economic consequences of lockdowns have been devastating. A positive aspect is that the pandemic has accelerated business trends already underway.

The 50 top companies ranged from banks to education providers, and from start-ups to established businesses, companies have shifted further online and sought fresh solutions for customers and societies. Wasoko, formerly Sokowatch, which heads the ranking, is one of several on the continent seeking to cut the cost of doing business in the massive informal agri-commerce sector, by helping to deliver goods to traders more efficiently. The Kenyan company achieved the highest compound annual growth in revenues between 2017 and 2020 and, in March, raised $125mn in a Series B funding round. Kenya is the third most represented country in the ranking, with 9 companies, behind SA (with 24) companies and Nigeria (20), and ahead of Egypt (6). These are also the markets that have attracted the most venture capital and where unicorns (companies valued at $1bn+) and would-be unicorns have proliferated.

SA’s 20 companies included Naspers, Yoco, Spark Schools, eAdvance, Entelect, and Lon4Life.


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